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If you've seen my past posts, you know that I go to Disney every chance I get. Normally, this is without my kids, but once in awhile they decide they want to go along. When the kids are along, all of my best laid plans get tossed out the window...cause...kids. This is how we ended up very late for a Disney Dining reservation. (read more)
Our last trip to Disney was in May of this year (2019), and I had done all my due-diligence. I researched crowd levels, printed out touring plans, made sure I had it set to the slowest walking speed, etc. The very last thing I thought would happen was that we'd be late for Disney restaurant reservation, or late for Disney reservations at all.
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But, we just had to have a coffee (mom and I) before we rode the People Mover, my youngest had to pee 14 times, I had to pee 8 times, we didn't realize we couldn't bring the coffee on the People Mover, The Carousel of Progress broke down, and on and on.
Really it was just me taking things slow and not paying enough attention to the clock.
So, when I looked at my phone and realized we were standing in Tomorrow Land at 11:15 with a Fast Pass in Adventure Land (Jungle Cruise) that went from 10:15 to 11:15, I wasn't sure we'd be able to get in, but I thought we'd try.
That wasn't the biggest issue though. We also had an 11:30 dining reservation at Jungle Navigation, and I needed to make a decision.
Do we try for the Fast Pass, or do we skip it and hit lunch?
Could we make both?
Throwing caution to the wind, we headed out of Tomorrow Land and into Adventure Land, fingers crossed!
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When we got to Adventure Land, it was roughly 11:30. We were fifteen minutes late for the Fast Pass, and the line was a MILE long. I have never seen such a long Fast Pass line in all my life.
It was brutally hot, the kids were complaining, people were grumpy, but I decided to risk it and stand in line, hoping that the guy scanning our bands would see how long the line was and give us some leeway.
We scanned our bands, and...you guessed it, BLUE LIGHT!
We all know what that means. Your Fast Pass is no longer valid.
The young man at the podium looked up at us, looked at the line, smiled and said, "You're fine, go on through."
Here's a picture of a spark plug in the Jungle Cruise line. My youngest son just had to take a picture so we could send it to my husband.
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The line for the Fast Pass was long, like I said. It took us a solid 20 minutes to get through and onto a boat. Jungle Cruise isn't a short ride, so by the time we got off, we were already about 45 minutes late to our 11:30 dining reservation.
But, it gets better.
We had a Fast Pass at 11:15 for Pirates of the Caribbean, and we now had to decide if we wanted to make that Fast Pass and show up even LATER to the dining reservation or skip the Pirates Fast Pass altogether.
What I wasn't prepared to do was NOT show up to the dining reservation. I knew they would charge me $10 a person, and I wasn't prepared to shell out $40 for a meal we didn't eat.
I was prepared to have a LONG wait while they tried to accommodate us, if they could at all.
My boys love Pirates, it was an easy decision.
So, with a longing, backward glance at Jungle Navigation, we walked on through to Frontier Land and Pirates.
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Thankfully the line for Pirates was quick and we were on and off the ride in about 15 minutes.
We found our stroller QUICKLY (thanks to this awesome little pom pom I got on Amazon), and headed toward lunch.
"Hi, I'm Sheila," I told the nice hostess. "I have a lunch reservation. I'm more than an hour late at this point, and I do apologize. Is there any way we can wait for a table as though we were people without reservations?"
The hostess typed on the computer for a few seconds, glanced at her watch and nodded, "Let me see what we can do."
About 10 minutes later, we were seated.
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I didn't even have to pull out the super lame excuse that there was a traffic jam over at Test Track. :)
There was, but that was a different day.
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Now, I know every day at Disney is different, so I definitely don't want to recommend that you show up an hour late to your dining reservation, or even 15 minutes late to your Fast Pass reservation, but I'm telling you that when push came to shove and we made our decisions, it worked out.
Next time I take the kids, I'll pay more attention to the clock and not get myself into a bind like this. But, if this is you and you're currently standing in one of the parks wondering if you can make that Fast Pass/Dining reservation even though you're super late, I'm going to tell you to give it a shot.
The worst that can happen is you aren't allowed on the ride or you have to wait like you don't have a reservation at the restaurant.
Knowing Disney, they're going to do the best they can to accommodate you.
There's a reason it's the Happiest Place On Earth!
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